Tuberculosis peer educators: personal experiences of working with socially excluded communities in London
OBJECTIVE: To understand the motivation and personal impact of being a peer educator on people with experience of anti-tuberculosis treatment, homelessness and addiction.
DESIGN: In-depth semi-structured interviews with peer educators were recorded and transcribed, and then analysed using a grounded theory approach to identify themes. Reflexivity and thick description were used to support transparency of findings.
RESULTS: Becoming a peer educator supports individuals in making sense of past experiences and renewing their sense of self. The role places value on personal experience and the communication approach this supports. The project environment is an important motivator, providing the peer with structure, social support and respect.
CONCLUSION: Being a peer educator with experience of homelessness and addiction can be beneficial and empowering and help long-term recovery. Peers are an underused resource for strengthening TB control among socially excluded populations. There is a need for further research into the contribution of peers to TB control, including analyses of economic effectiveness.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-10-01
The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.
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